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Claridge Kicks Off

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Steve Claridge | 22:58 UK time, Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Hello, and welcome to 'Claridge Kicks Off', the video blog where Steve Claridge tackles all the big talking points in the Championship, League One and League Two.

This week, Steve looks at how Norwich's hot streak of form has given them the edge in the race for the second automatic promotion spot in the Championship, while Nottingham Forest's season has fallen apart at the seams.

He also reflects on Paul Ince's departure as Notts County boss, and looks back at a high-scoring weekend in the Football League that included vital wins for Southampton at the top of League One, and Barnet at the bottom of League Two.

You can submit your questions for Steve below, or contact him on Twitter. He will answer them on a future 'Claridge Kicks Off' rather than posting a reply.

Non-UK users can see a special international version of Steve's video blog here.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.





  • Comment number 1.

    Is Steve Claridge unable to write?

  • Comment number 2.

    So what does Steve Clardige think of QPR's 3-0 win over Sheffiled United on Monday? Still a one man team are we? Taarabt actually tracked back so maybe he just about deserves his player of the season award. I bet he is chomping at the bit hoping that the hearing about Faurlin's transfer that concludes on the 6th May results in a substantial points reduction for us. Bet he's rubbing his hands in anticipation...

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    I feel a bit sorry for goalies and defenders sometimes. When a player further up the field loses the ball stupidly- it happens all the time!- someone's behind them to mop up, and it's quickly forgotten. But a single howler from a goalie can be the difference between a good reputation and a bad one. Ask Gary Sprake!

  • Comment number 5.

    what a useless pundit!! so do you still think we have a dodgy defence after 22 clean sheets?? and as Bedford R says one man team you must be joking, did you see Ali Faulin's display on Monday. Best midfielder in the league by a country mile. Your anti qpr comments this season have made me laugh...Top of the League, most clean sheets, best home record, Divisions best player and champions in the making!! says it all really.

  • Comment number 6.

    Can we have SMS version please?

  • Comment number 7.

    why does the BBC still keep commissioning this guy to give his opinions when everyone thinks he is useless?

  • Comment number 8.

    Where is Leroy Rosenior's blog?

  • Comment number 9.

    Steve Claridge won’t bother commenting on Rangers 3-0 win on Monday, He never has a good word to say about a team that has impressed all season, why do the BBC pay you when you ignore what fans have to say, esp about you!!! I can feel a talking point around the 3rd-6th May….

  • Comment number 10.

    Steve, when you listen to the comments you have made previously about QPR, doubting their credentials to be promoted or to win the Championship, and your comments about QPR being a one man team etc., it beggars belief to hear your admiration for Norwich City. That is taking nothing away from Norwich City who are having a great season, but Steve, please, please just be honest. You must surely agree with what Peter Beagrie said on Monday evening, something which now must be obvious to even the greatest doubters ‘QPR are by far the best team in the Championship’.

    Frustrated fans have repeated the stats to you time and time again; frustrated that you will not accept the blindingly obvious. Please take some time to look at the league table!

  • Comment number 11.

    To freespeechoneeach at 4 above, Gary Sprake was generally a good goalkeeper but in important games he did make costly errors, and not just one. His two best (or worst) remembered errors were in the 1967 Liverpool v Leeds United game and then in the 1970 FA Cup Final v Chelsea.

    Two BIG games, two Big errors – and there were others!

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi Anthony: I remember the Liverpool one very well.
    We used to joke that Sprake was like Cinderella, always missing the Ball! It's a shame, because overall the Revie Leeds defended well, partly because of Sprake.

    On Saturday, all the pundits were saying Forest were the "better team" in the first half. But to me, one of the features of a winning side is that they play well, (avoid conceding, avoid cautions,) when the other side have possession. Forest had bundles of possession Saturday, but didn't make it count. So not the better team then.

  • Comment number 13.

    I concur that QPR have had an excellent season and deserve the promotion that is surely coming, but I do not think that they are head and shoulders ahead of anyone else. Can I remind Hoops fans that in two games against Norwich this season, you gained just one point?..........and failed to score in either!

  • Comment number 14.

    so if QPR are the best team by far why did they fail to even score against super city this season, we took four points off QPR!!! And Faurlin is nowhere near the quality of David Fox or Wes Hoolahan!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    @13 and 14... Last see we (Newcastle) only took one point off derby and two points off bristol city and WBA, every other team we beat atleast once. Does that make them teams better? No basically. Qpr are head and shoulders above anyone in that league, why? Well the table doesnt lie, does it?

  • Comment number 16.

    Oops, last season**

  • Comment number 17.


    I think you must be living in some dark corner of Norfolk to think that City are better than QPR on the strength of 2 games!

    If you, and Mr Claridge for that matter, would care to take a glance at the table, you will see that we are currently 9 points better than you. Couple that with having only lost 4 games to Citys' 7 and 22 clean sheets, I think we can safely say who the best team in the division is!

    To be fair, NCFC are doing a LOT better than most people would have guessed, and just when you think they might drop away, they have found form again and deservedly hold 2nd spot. That 1-7 (?) home defeat to Colchester, on the first day of last season (in a division lower) seems a mighty long time ago now, eh?

    Good luck to City, but they've been in our shadow all season. This is no disrespect, as ALL the teams in the championship have been in that same shadow!

  • Comment number 18.

    it can't be only me that is bored of QPR fans spouting the whole time; surely there's more to this blog (and life?) than that?

    QPR are where they are due to team-work, a talisman, and their in-abilty to ship goals like the rest of us. Maybe they don't score that many compared to some but they concede very, very few and that has to be the most essential quality required by any team seeking promotion.


  • Comment number 19.

    "18. At 15:33pm on 6th Apr 2011, duvetcoverdrive wrote:
    it can't be only me that is bored of QPR fans spouting the whole time; surely there's more to this blog (and life?) than that?"

    Personally, I think we are spouting off because for the WHOLE of this season Mr Claridge (Whose blog it is) has given us absolutely NO credit whatsoever. This is supposed to be an intelligent look at the Football League, and yet the platitudes and comment that he brings to this are worth nothing.

    He accused us of being a "one-man team" when quite clearly we are not. That is bound to get some backs up. You would think that after 1000+ games in the Football League, He would be able to give more than the usual hum-drum rubbish that HE spouts every week.

    I listen because I have a "Claridge Bingo Card" - Every time he says one of his stock phrases (at the end of the day, they need to change something around, etc etc) I get to mark it off. So far, I have won 3 weeks in a row. I fully expect to win next week as well!

    As a licence-payer, I expect a bit more from the BBC, in terms of content, and I don't think that is too much to ask! Get someone in who knows the league, AND can put coherent pieces together.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    QPR have done magnificently well and deservedly lead the league table and have a squad that certainly knows how to perform in the championship.

    However, without at least 10 new players of top quality, QPR will go straight back down. Taarabt will struggle to do against top class defenders what he is doing currently for QPR, and when you are widely under the cosh in a game, it is not always best for the team to have someone who potentially will put his own showcasing first, which is what he is liable to do given the platform of the Premier League.

    Players such as Helguson and Derry are distinctly average and past their prime, they will struggle in the PL.

    Then you have the next rung of players such as Clint Hill who up against the likes of Torres, Bent, Rooney, Saha, Tevez, Drogba, Van Persie will be made to look the standard he is, which is very poor.

    Norwich I feel are better equipped as they have more players who are untried at PL level, this sometimes is a huge advantage as you will get those who are able to progress at every level and step up to the plate:

    Past players worth of this note are Sean Davis, Jimmy Bullard, Andy Johnson, and others.

    QPR have too many who have failed at the top level, and proven that they could not cut the mustard

  • Comment number 23.

    you clearly havent watched Qpr much this season if you think we need 10 new players. Yeah we need to improve the squad and will need to bring in maybe 5 or 6 to give us some depth. But 10 is way off the mark.

    We definately need new fullbacks, 2 good strikers maybe in the danny graham, nicky naynard mould. And a good experienced centre half. I was shaun derrys biggest critic when we first signed him but believe you me he can definately play at the top level and i think has improved with age and experience. Taarabt can definately cut the mustard and can only get better, especially playing around better players.

    Plus you are forgetting we are a london team with Billionaire backers..I dont think they will splash the cash but if need be we have the funds available to really add some quality to the squad. So we may well see if your prediction of Norwich doing better than QPR in the prem comes true, but i think your way off the mark. You also have to get promoted first....

  • Comment number 24.

    Response to wandsworthycanary 13 above and baldboy 14 above

    One off games can go either way and the better side can lose. A sending off so that QPR played virtually all the 2nd half at Carrow Road with 10 men and the width of the paintwork on the post which prevented Agyemang equalising at the end of the game (with just 10 men) made the difference. That happens in one off's. A full season (or even 39 games), the league table does not lie however!

    How many points and what better goal difference will make you accept QPR are streets ahead?

    I will also stick my neck out here and make a prediction (please feel free to have a go if I am wrong - I'll take it on the chin!). On Saturday evening QPR's lead of 9 points and 19 goals better than anyone else will have increased even further!

    To duvetcoverdrive 18 above - QPR's superb defence accepted, apart from Leeds United whose goalscoring record is excellent, please explain what teams have scored more times than QPR this season? (And I don't mean just the one goal over 39 games by Cardiff or Reading).

  • Comment number 25.

    Response to tomefccamm 22 above

    Neil Warnock's job this season was to get QPR into the Premier League. He recruited players and used tactics to do just that and he did it better than anyone other manager. What a great job he has done. This is the 6th team he has won promotion with.

    Next season his target will be to build on that and turn QPR into a Premier League outfit. He has a massive advantage over Norwich City, that advantage is obvious, billionaire owners whose ambition has been publicly stated as Champions League football at QPR.

    These owners have twice the finances of Mr Abramovich and are equal financially to Manchester City's owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

    Just one step at a time - but do not expect to see QPR back in the Championship any time soon!

  • Comment number 26.

    @24 Anthony
    It was meant to be complimentary, backhanded possibly, in that you don't squander a lead like say Leeds who do the old Newcastle approach i.e. we'll score one more than you and maybe ship loads pushing up the park and then win 4-3. There's plenty of one-nil'ers in there that i would have expected to be at least 3.

    My memory of QPR this season so far is one of 'how have you not scored more?'. Judging by the comments of QPR fans here to date; if we are to believe that the team is as good as you all maintain, just how exactly have you not managed to knock more in that Watford in tenth (68 goals for to date)?

    I am willing to believe most things e.g. that the big cheque for Warnock from the owners is in the post (if he's there next season that is) but what I will not believe is that you can have your cake and eat it too.
    I mean IF your team is as good as QPR fans will have us believe it is (open question, it's is you guys that talk them up), then i would have expected to see more goals from your superlative 'good enough for the Premier League' attacking unit (who have only scored 5 more than Leicester!).

    IF I were a hoops fan, frankly, I would be ecstatic to be going up but disappointed that it wasn't a great deal more emphatic and put beyond doubt a long time ago.

    See you in the top flight next season and let's just see if you get more than a point from us then. :)


  • Comment number 27.

    qpr are the biggest moaners in the country, they're always moaning on here, your top of the league and almost out of reach, what's the point of talking about that? the race for second is exciting and norwich are currently leading that race after only coming up last season, to me that seems like more of a story than qpr are still top... maybe if you get docked points steve will talk plenty about you. from a swans fan

  • Comment number 28.

    I see you still have the word 'expert' beside the foto of your foot at the top of the page. Could you please do us all a favour, to be fair, and delete it.

  • Comment number 29.

    Response to duvetcoverdrive 26 above

    Thank you for your response and I undserstand the points you make. However, as a QPR fan I am uncertain how much more emphatic QPR's Championship success can be (accepting it's not all over yet). Currently 9 points clear and I genuinley believe that will increase, a 19 goal difference better than any other club, most wins, most cleans sheets, best defensive record in the whole Football League never mind Champioship, best player etc.

    I said to my very elderly dad today, apart from 1967 when QPR won the old Division 3 at a canter with the great Rodney Marsh, Alec Stock (manager), Gentleman Jim Langley, Les Allen and the rest - 'I cannot recall QPR dominating a legaue as they have done this season'.

    I live in the north nowadays and work in professional football as a scout and therefore do not often get to watch Rangers (QPR) live. I saw them at Doncaster a few weeks ago and although it was only 1-0 QPR were streets apart. This week I am going to Scunthorpe wher I have no doubt they will win comfortably. I try very hard to put my bias to one side and be honest - and I really believe QPR are a very, very good side.

    There is a great chance they will reach 100 points this season and finish at least 12 points above second place. That it impressive isn't it?

  • Comment number 30.

    Response to duvetcoverdrive 26 above

    You wonder why we have not scored more goals than Watford. Well, how may goals have Watford conceded? I'll tell you 56 compared to QPR's 23. Our goal difference is +40 for a reason.

    If your team was in our position you would not be disappointed. That is just rubbish.

    Are you related to Clardige in anyway? This is the sort of inane rubbish he would spout...

  • Comment number 31.

    To the Swans fan at 27.

    We moan about Cladige at every opportunity as he has the power of BBC radio, television and internet at his disposal to spread his warped view on QPR. We have the right of redress..

  • Comment number 32.

    I have said this before on recent logs, so forgive me for the repeat because I have real trouble in accepting the BBC's definition of an expert!

    Neil Warnock managerial record:

    Scarborough – promoted to Football League

    Peterborough – promoted and turned down offers to manage Chelsea and Sunderland

    Huddersfield Town - won promotion

    Plymouth Argyle – won promotion

    Sheffield United – won promotion (League and FA Cup Semi Finalists)

    QPR - make your own prediction but it is not that tough is it?

    In short - Warnock - six promotions - BRILLIANT!

    Steve Claridge managerial record

    Portsmouth – failed

    Millwall - failed

    Weymouth – failed

    Please BBC:

    Don’t take the mickey. Most of us have a good knowledge of football and will take note of Venables, Redknapp, Hoddle, Mourinhio and the rest. But please do not put forward failed managers trying to criticise successful managers like Neil Warnock.

    It is really noticeable those criticising Warnock (including Steve) have no or little knowledge of his success. The man has a proven record!

    If you wish to teach English, I.T. or Maths you have to be duly qualified with some credibility, experience and qualifications to back you up. Please BBC explain why unqualified, unsuccessful, habitually sacked managers who are actually failures such as Steve Claridge are paid huge amounts of television licence payers money are put forward by the BBC as experts to criticise those with far greater experience and success?

    Frankly it is disgraceful!

  • Comment number 33.

    @32 I remember the Neil Warnock glory days at Posh well...oh wait, no I don't. He never managed Posh.

  • Comment number 34.

    Steve, obviously QPR are going to get relegated next season, but which other 2 teams will enjoy their 38 games?

    Also....Gordon Taylor, Michel Platini or Sepp Blatter....which one is the worst for the improvement of football in Britain?

  • Comment number 35.

    @14 baldboy, Norwich may have taken 4 points off us and not conceded a goal, but so did Millwall... So does that make them better than us too?

  • Comment number 36.

    Before i continue QPR are certainly the best team in the championship this season as a whole. Just one little stat I'd like to throw in though, since Nov 2 both teams have been as constistant as each other both gaining 36 points, City losing twice and QPR losing 4 times. That is 24 games ago, I think most championship fans would be surprised to learn this, just hope it all continues till 7th May and we both go up :).

  • Comment number 37.

    If QPR are the best there havnt been many Hoops fans at home games to see them,they are not brilliant rely on the long ball to much and a manager who throws his toys out of the pram if the results dont go his way.City have the best manager in the championship his record speaks for itself, and to have a run of 2 defeats since last October shows the class that we have in the side anyway the FA might have the last word. OTBC

  • Comment number 38.

    Nice comment #37, not jumping on the 'Warnock plays long ball' bandwagon at all. Clearly not seen us at all this season... Yeh long ball Taarabt, Routledge, Buzsaky, Faurlin and Smith.

    Good shout tho!

    Up the Swans on saturday!

  • Comment number 39.

    .City have the best manager in the championship his record speaks for itself, and to have a run of 2 defeats since last October shows the class that we have in the side anyway the FA might have the last word. OTBC


    Shame the season runs from August till May and not October til March then doesn't it??

    Best manager in the league? I'll hazard a guess that the best manager in the league gains the most points in the season.

    Come back and have a word May 8th.

  • Comment number 40.

    To jespomo at 33

    Apologies Neil Warnock was a coach at Peterborough and not a manager, and he was manager of Notts County when offered the Chelsea and Sunderland jobs. But please add to my post at 32 above Neil Warnock achieved promotion as manager twice at Notts County.

    I hope that sets the record straight!

  • Comment number 41.

    Jeez, Are you QPR fans ever going to get over yourselves.

    Its getting boring listening to your constant whinging about someones personal opinion.

    Adel Taraabat is the greatest player to ever grace the championship. Happy now?

  • Comment number 42.

    Baldyboy, were you at the game at Loftus Road earlier this season? If you were, you would have seen a largely dominant display by QPR and we fully deserved the win, it was a shock how we didn't win! As for the away game, I was able to attend this game but from all accounts you were the better side, but we can't be brilliant in every game. We have proved over the course of the season that we are the best side in the division and 2 games out of 46 are not important in the long run. As for 2nd place, I feel swansea deserve it a lot more than Norwich, simply because their style of football is much greater. David who? Wes who? exactly.

  • Comment number 43.

    Not a QPR fan but having lived in the Shepherds Bush area for a few years now, I've seen them play a fair bit this season.

    In my opinion, their current team is head and shoulders above the competition. The table doesn't lie and a few isolated results aside, they have run away with the Championship.

    Having said that, it is no secret that this team has been assembled for one purpose and that is immediate promotion. The squad is largely made up of proven and experienced Championship players who can do the job.

    Even the managerial appointment of Warnock points to that objective. He has a proven record and was one of the best placed to guide them into the top flight as has been proven this season. Incidentally, I wouldn't be surprised if they let him go for a more high-profile boss should the Rs make a back start next season.

    I don't think QPR have many players you could call Premiership-standard. Most would say their best players are Taarabt, Routledge and Faurlin. Two of these have largely failed in the top flight in the past, and the other has no experience. I hope they can do a job in the Premiership, but who can say? The rest of the squad are good Championship players at best.

    So anyway, my point is that IMO, once they seal promotion, they'll need to overhaul a lot of the first team squad and bring in Premiership players if they want any chance of staying up, as I have my doubts the current crop can do the job.

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't see why QPR fans are so shocked when someone says that Taarabt isn't the best player in the Championship. He clearly isn't in my opinion as if you put someone on him like us (Norwich) or Leeds did, he's rather ineffective in comparison to Scott Sinclair, who can work with the little space that he has and make things happen.

    As for Norwich, we've had a great run and only 2 losses in 5 months but anything can happen at this stage of the season. And, Bakes8, you're wrong. Lambert clearly is a better manager than Warnock. Lambert's record also speaks for itself:

    Wycombe: Promoted, League Cup Semi-final (they were in League 2 at the time!)
    Norwich: Promoted as champions at first attempt from League One when we were 23rd when he took over and now on course for possible back-to-back promotions... OTBC

  • Comment number 45.

    qpr are top on merit - no question. i think if norwich had started the season with this current team then i think it would be very tight between the teams, but anyone who thinks qpr don't deserve to be top is crazy. they have sat at the summit since practically day one and haven't been toppled. ok, they have money to spend which is obviously an advantage but they haven't spent as much as others in this league. i don't agree that taarabt is the best player in the league but equally qpr aren't a one man team - but likewise, claridge, no matter how much i find myself rarely agreeing with him, is entitled to his opinion on any team - that is what he is paid to do - and if he doesn't rate qpr as highly as qpr fans do, what does it matter? you'll get the last laugh when you win the title and prove him wrong. the world doesn't revolve around qpr...

  • Comment number 46.

    Neil Warnock:

    1986–87: Conference winners (promotion to Division 4) – Scarborough
    1989–90: Division 3 Playoff winners (promotion to Division 2) – Notts County
    1990–91: Division 2 Playoff winners (promotion to Division 1) – Notts County
    1994–95: Division 2 Playoff winners (promotion to Division 1) – Huddersfield Town
    1995–96: Division 3 Playoff winners (promotion to Division 2) – Plymouth Argyle
    2005–06: Championship runners-up (promotion to Premier League) – Sheffield United

    Paul Lambert:

    Football League One Winner 2009–10,

    Lambert lost in the play-offs with Wycombe, hence his resignation from the club. He DID NOT get them promoted.

    Granted, Lambert is a good manager, comes across very well in interviews also. But Warnock is the best in the division, hence our league position.

  • Comment number 47.

    Bakes, not as good as Lambert in my opinion. Lambert has taken a team full of League One players (Fox, Crofts, Holt, Russell Martin, Chris Martin etc.) and taken them to 2nd with 4 points in hand on 3rd. Granted that Warnock has done well at QPR, I'm not taking that away from him but I highly doubt that he would have got Norwich to 2nd at this point in the season. True, Warnock has done well at QPR but Lambert is a godsend when you look at what where we were 2 or 3 years ago OTBC

  • Comment number 48.

    Warnock is a godsend when you look at where Qpr were in March of last year before he took over. Staring down the barrel of a relegation to League 1 with a squad full of hopeless wasters.

    12 months later we're 9 points top of the Championship.

    Warnock will get Championship manager of the year. Rodgers, Lambert and possibly Kenny Jackett will all be close.

  • Comment number 49.

    True, altough QPR have had much more money than Norwich overall (we couldn't afford Faulin and probably couldn't even afford Taarabt's wages either). I'd admit that Warnock's class but Lambert has turned Norwich from a relegation-threatened League One team (that's how bad it was!) to a Championship promotion contender and there are very few managers that have done that. OTBC

  • Comment number 50.

    Firstly, QPR fans he does say that we would finish second to QPR, so I dont see how he has disregarded or offended you. Warnock is not a better manager than Lambert, he has had a huge amount more to work with the Lambert. If Lambert was at the helm of QPR you can bet he would have you more than 9 points clear at the top. Ok, Warnock has achieved more but Lambert has only just started his management career. Lambert will go on to manage one of the top top premier leauge sides and Warnock never has or will. Plus Lambert marked Zidane out of the 1997 Champions leauge final so I would pick him over Warnock any day. Taarabt is the best player in the division, and I think without him you would be a playoff chasing team at best. But that doesnt matter because he is in your team. Youre not heads and shoulders better than the rest. You're a little better. However, thats as much down to the other big contenders like Forrest and Swansea having poor seasons as it is to you guys doing well.

    You're the best team in the leauge. I know that hasnt been the case for a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time. You're boring everyone with your sudden emergence from your London holes, sprouting off about how good you are. So please keep the noise level to a minimum because the rest of the Championship fans (most of whom support bigger clubs) are getting a little tired of your constant moaning. Congratulations again on a great season.

  • Comment number 51.

    warnock took over twenty years to take a club into the premier league... lambert could do it within five. warnock is, and always has been a very fine lower league manager and has recently proven himself to be one of the best outside the top flight. however, lambert is something rather special and he will, i'm sure, go right to the very top of english football. lambert has been in charge at norwich now for 18 months and is on course for back to back promotions already! we were 23rd in league one when he took over - we were top four months later without him purchasing any players! warnock is good, lambert is a genius

  • Comment number 52.

    Quite frankly I enjoy the performances of QPR proving Cladige wrong every week. We may lose another game or two and then he'll be saying that he is right. Wrong!

    Only a month to go and then QPR fans will stop baiting Cladige...

    Warnock is class. Lambert is having a brilliant season. There's the difference..

  • Comment number 53.

    @29 & @30 et al. Oh, if only you would put as much effort into reading as moaning.

    - QPR are good enough to win the champions league because their owners have more money than Barcelona.

    - Steve Claridge is an idiot not entitled to breath oxygen, much less express an opinion of any kind.

    - the Pope certifies that Neil Warnock is in fact God and Taarabt is Moses.

    Happy now?

  • Comment number 54.

    Warnock is class. Lambert is having a brilliant season. There's the difference..


    i think i speak for the vast majority of knowledgeable football fans when i say you've definitely got that the wrong way round!

  • Comment number 55.

    You think you know what most knowledgeable football fans think? There goes your creditability straight away...

  • Comment number 56.

    Response to bakes8 (46 & 48 above) and to the Norwich fan posting 54 above.

    'Bakes8 excellent comments endorsed by the facts'.

    'Norwich fan read 46 and 48 above'!

  • Comment number 57.

    i dont think QPR deserve to go up they have bought there way to the top.
    we can only hope for points deduction ;)

  • Comment number 58.

    Norwich shouldn't be worried about Qpr anyway... We're long gone.

    Best to concentrate on the Swans, Bluebirds, Forest, Reading, Leeds and Millwall.

    Gonna be one hell of an end to the season.

  • Comment number 59.

    Response to richy at 57 above

    Warnock has spent £2.5 million! No where near what many other Championship sides have spent. Look at the Cardiff squad, then look at the strikers at Portsmouth who cost over £10 million - just two examples.

    Then look at the Premier League and the top clubs such as Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal. Look at the top European sides such as Real Madrid and Barcelona. It takes real money to be succesful and that is not just transfer fees but massive wages. That is the real world of modern day football.

    To date however, Neil Warnock has been very frugal; but as others have said on this log if QPR are to do well next season in the Premier League they will have to buy and spend a lot of money. I believe they will because that is the only way to stay up amongst the elite and it appears the owners of QPR have real ambition for the club.

    It is incredibly naive to believe football clubs can maintain success in this day and age without using a big budget. Blackpool is a good example. They have done brilliant and Ian Holloway is a legend and minor miracle worker; but on his budget of £10 million, staying in the Premier League is a massive task!

  • Comment number 60.

    well we shall see. warnock has done very well this season but has never managed a massive club. lambert is still starting out in management but will be managing at the top level for the majority of his career so i'd say he is rated higher. ask any fan of any club who they'd rather have in charge at the moment and i bet 99% of fans would say lambert, the most promising manager in british football

  • Comment number 61.

    lambert is still starting out in management but will be managing at the top level for the majority of his career so i'd say he is rated higher. ask any fan of any club who they'd rather have in charge at the moment and i bet 99% of fans would say lambert, the most promising manager in british football


    And that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. How you can predict the future is anyones guess, plenty of the 'next best thing' managers have come and gone in recent seasons. Where is Paul Ince for example?

    Lambert is good, not sure how good, but we're top for a reason, and Warnock is a big part of that.

  • Comment number 62.

    bakes, agree about warnock.

    qpr always had the potential, especially with their backing, to get out of this league, it just required a guy with the knowhow to get out, and warnock was an inspired choice. but lambert is an absolute god to norwich fans, worshipped - if a manager can be untouchable, lambert is that manager, something really, really special.

    so don't be surprised to read every norwich fan claim lambert to be better than warnock - he is better than ferguson to us! i just hope we can hang on to him for a long while!!

  • Comment number 63.

    Firstly, Anthony, I'm afraid there isn't a good chance QPR will finish on 100 points, because that would involve us winning 7 out of 7, a total run of 10 wins on the spin. Given our last 4 games, it's very unlikely!

    Secondly, Duvetcoverdrive, you've stumbled upon something many QPR fans are also baffled by; why haven't we scored more? Why have we been outscored by Watford?
    The long and short of it is the lack of a genuine, top-notch striker compared to the likes of Danny Graham, because we've created the chances, I can assure you of that. Heidur Helguson has an impressive tally of 12 goals, and along with Taarabt's 15 and Mackie's 9 up to Christmas, that shows you where a good chunk of goals have come from. But the amount that both HH and Rob Hulse have missed when they really should have scored is quite horrifying. HH will live long in the memory for the job he's done within the system this season, but should we start the Premier League season with him up top I'd be very worried indeed - you can't miss chances if you want to stay up.

  • Comment number 64.

    Agreed Superman. And for the record I think Lambert is a class act, on and off the pitch.

    Good luck sats.

  • Comment number 65.

    I am disapointed in Dave Jones comments as reported on the BBC sports web site tonight. I think Jones is a decent manager and was harshly dealt with when criminal allegations were made against him in the past. But he now appears to pre judge QPR before the Hearing of 3rd May. If anyone should, he should know better!

    Jones has probably the best squad in the Championship and has taken advantage of the rules to play the likes of Bellamy and Ramsey without his club paying much of their salaries in return. He has used the players 'Welsh loyalty' in bringing about their loan signings. Now, in spite of that, because Cardiff City are well short of the number of required points to gain promotion he whinges hoping QPR will be deducted enough points to allow Cardiff City to gain promotion.

    I have said this before and say again, football matches should be won on the field of play. Promotion and relegation should be decided by results over a full season and not by administrators in black suits, white shirts and a tie sat behind desks in London. Thankfully, those in the know, including the broadsheet reporters say even if QPR were found gulity a reduction in points is highly unlikely. QPR themselves appear unconcerned. Only the desperate fans and the desperate managers of teams trailing many points behind QPR are clinging to the faintest of hopes that because their football skills have not been good enough, some faceless administrator will say 'Even though your fourteen points behind QPR, go on, jump above them and enjoy Premier League football next season and £70 million - even though you haven't earnt it and don't deserve it!'

    Frankly - it will not happen. If you want promotion for your club concentrate on winning football matches. That is how success and failure is judged!

  • Comment number 66.

    Paul Lambert has done a great job at Norwich, no dispute. I'd be concerned that he's done such a good job that other bigger clubs will start taking more than just a passing interest. Great job or not you are 9 points behind us, a massive gulf at so late a stage of a very competitive season. And on our style, yes we do hoof it now and again, but I wouldn't swap your distant second place for our runaway lead for any amount of pretty football. Some, not all, Norwich fans need to accept with grace that you are in second place because your are the 2nd best team in the league over 39 matches. Two games within that 39 mean nothing.

  • Comment number 67.

    @60. So Paul Lambert is a better manager because of what you think he might do in the future. There's a reasoned argument...

  • Comment number 68.

    I have just got back from watching QPR at Scunthorpe. QPR looked in total control at 1-0 with Routledge going close with a fabulous chip from 25 yards then missing a one on one with the 'keeper. Scunthorpe's equaliser came about due to schoolboy defending and a total lack of marking in the box. Without doubt Scunthorpe were worth their win and they looked like they really wanted it. Well done!

    Fortunately at the time of writing Norwich are losing 2-0 at Swansea so not too much damage will have been caused unless that position changes. QPR now need to show their character in a tricky Tuesday night game at Barnsley.

  • Comment number 69.

    Without a doubt mark robins is the best manager,
    to manage a rubbish team is special

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    @68. Anthony I too went to the match having travelled from Huddersfield, with real confidence after Monday night's win at Loftus road. When we scored after 3 minutes it looked like 3 easy points in the bag. Pity Scunthorpe didn't read the script!! Once they equalised they competed like lions and we looked like we ran out of ideas. Derry looked tired. He was roasted twice by Iron players.
    The 2nd goal came as a real shock and we looked as if we had no answer to Irons busy play and newly found competitive streak.
    Nothing seemed to be going right and the 3rd gaol...what a cracker!...stunned our supporters into silence. Our subs added no value, and even Paddy Kenny looked out of sorts. The final goal compounded our misery and I couldn't wait for the final whistle to end the humiliation.
    The Irons deserved their victory. Hope we can pick ourselves up for for Tuesday at Barnsley. Where was Taraabt?

  • Comment number 72.

    @ 65 Anthony, The point of all this though is that QPR have possibly broken the rules of the game. I agree with you that football is and should be decided on the pitch, however, if the charges aqainst the club are about a player who shouldn't be playing for you in the first place then how is that fair? You will have had the benefit of a player who never should've been on the pitch in the first place and a player who undoubtedly would've had an influence on the games he's played in, therefore, whats wrong with a points deduction to off set that? Without this player it could be argued that you wouldn't be top and therefore deserve to be taken down a peg or two. I personally hope that QPR are cleared of the charges as i don't like to think of any football club cheating to get ahead.

  • Comment number 73.

    One thing that is worthy of comment is that all of the teams that came up from League one last year are above the three teams relegated from the premiership, despite the benefit of parachute payments from those that have come down.

    Does this mean that the championship is a weaker league this year, or are those promoted sides reaping the benefits of having managers who have had the opportunity to stamp their mark on a club and build continuity?

    It is obvious that having had successful seasons last year you would expect a degree of carry over into a new season, but 40 games in the table doesn't lie and all three are where they are on merit. In all cases the sides have suplemented their playing staff without significant outlay, incorporating better players into an established infrastructure and building a sustainable platform for the future.

    Young, hungry managers who have learnt their trade in the lower divisions and being given time to build are being successful, and long may it continue.

  • Comment number 74.

    it is obvious that so many of qpr's players will struggle at pl level, but norwich city players have not been there yet therefore we do not know if norwich will do so badly as qpr in the pl next season?

  • Comment number 75.

    @72 Who says that the player in question should not have been playing? The charges are more to do with process and paperwork. The FA knew all about hinm when we signed him and it has taken them this long to lay charges.

    @74 Your post makes no sense. You are saying that becasue Norwich players have not played in the PL that they will not struggle? There's a reasoned argument. And most of our players have npot played in the PL either. Does that make your argument valid? I think not...

  • Comment number 76.

    bakes8 is no longer cool. He's just like Anthony. Sad day.

  • Comment number 77.

    How much money has warnock spent at QPR? How much has Paul Lambert spent at Norwich? No question who is the better manager and who gets the most out of his squad. OTBC and looking forward to us wiping Billy Davis' Smile off his face on Friday!


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